Davey Pattison's illustrious career began in the British pubs, where he toiled for years, before finally being scooped into stardom in 1979 fronting Ronnie Montrose's Gamma. That group split in the mid-'80s, at which point Robin Trower picked up the phone, and enlisted the singer. Over the years since, Pattison has kept busy with studio work, reunited with both Gamma and Trower, and formed the Schenker Pattison Summit with guitarist Michael Schenker. It's no wonder then that the veteran vocalist only got around to recording his debut solo album, Mississippi Nights, in 1999. It's a strong set that focuses on Pattison's bluesier side, although only the title track and "Houston Street Blues" are true blues numbers, while "Too Hot to Sleep" is blues based, but with a lush, cross-over arrangement. Those tracks are counter-pointed by a trio of R&B numbers -- the steaming "Have a Look at Yourself," the horn drenched and rock laced "I Got the Hots for You," and the urban styled, funkified "Slow Down." Rounding out the set are a pair of ballads and the bright and breezy slice of pop "Daydreaming." Pattison has support from guitarists Steve Canali and John Rewind, keyboardists Bob McBain and Dale Ockerman, bassist Sam Plarr, and drummer D.G. Tull, with other guest musicians abounding. This reissue pairs the fabulous Nights with Pattison's 2003 follow-up, Pictures. With many of the songs co-written by the musicians, this sophomore set is far more diverse than its predecessor, ranging from rockers to smoky jazz, R&B in a variety of shades, and even more tasty blues. Canali, Rewind, and drummer Tull all return, with Kay Bjord taking the stool of the pianomen, and Van Morrison bassist David Hayes found among the excellent rhythm
section. While Nights was a mighty album, Pictures is fuller and more adventurous, but with the two brought together in one set, there's no need to choose between them.